Thursday, July 27, 2006

Who Says 2-D Animated Features Are Dead?

Disney gives traditional animation another shot

By Sheigh Crabtree

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Walt Disney Studios has reunited with the directors of its box office disaster "Treasure Planet" as part of a plan to get back into the decidedly unfashionable business of traditional animation.

The new project, "Frog Princess," will put a female spin on the classic fairy tale, according to sources.

It will be overseen by John Musker and Ron Clements, who left the studio shortly after "Treasure Planet" bombed at the end of 2002, grossing just $38 million domestically.

In their heyday at Disney, they demonstrated their ability to spin a popular tale around a female protagonist with 1989's "The Little Mermaid." They also worked on such traditionally animated Disney musicals as "Aladdin" and "Hercules."

But traditional animation no longer draws the crowd, thanks in part the innovative computer-animation purveyed by Pixar Animation Studios, which Disney now owns. Pixar principals Ed Catmull and John Lasseter, who now run Disney's feature animation operations, are interested in exploring Disney's pioneering 2-D tradition.

One of Lasseter's first initiatives following Disney's acquisition of Pixar this year was to woo Musker and Clements back into the fold.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

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